Lille is the former merchant city of France. With over 1 million residents, it is the fourth-largest urban area in the country. Lille is a lovely mix of new-age bourgeois spaces and old Flemish-styled structures. Famous tourist attractions of this vibrant city include Vauban Citadel, Palais de Beaux Arts Museum and Wazemmes Market.
Cheap flights to Lille are now available for a limited period of time, so get ready to fall in love with this beautiful city. Lille is home to Lille Airport (LIL), which is located on a very quick 15-minute drive from the city centre. Lille Airport serves a multitude of airlines – including Aegean Airlines, EasyJet Switzerland and Air France. Connecting flights to Lille depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. The flight duration from Johannesburg is approximately 16 hours.
Popular flights to Lille
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Lille
Pastries and Eateries
Lillie is home to the most extraordinary French pastries that will tickle your taste buds for more. Try Aux Merveilleux de Fred on a Sunday afternoon for a treat.
The influx of students means one thing in Lille – a great nightlife scene. Enjoy a night out at relaxed lounges to stylish clubs like Chez Fred and Le Tripostal.
Museums and Art
Once an important merchant centre in Europe, Lille has some of the most splendid art displays in France. The Palais de Beaux-Arts is the second largest museum in France.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
1 ZAR = 0.07 EUR
Lille Airport (LIL)
Best time to visit Lille
The climate in Lille is quite moderate as it never experiences any extreme weather. As with most European destinations, tourists tend to flock to Lille over the summer season (June – August). The temperature is on average a warm 23°C and the city is busy with activities such as the Wazemmes market. With the influx of visitors, prices of flights and accommodation can become rather pricey. It also rains a lot during summer.
Lille is famous for its month-long Christmas market every December. Though it can get very chilly, it’s a great experience for a French wintery experience. The colder months in Lille fall between November and January.
Weather & Climate in Lille
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall levels (mm) per month
Mystical, tall red brick buildings that date back to the 17th century and tours of The Old Town done in Flemish-French accents are just some of the magic that Lille has to offer. Lille was once the creative home of France and, as it sits very close to the Belgian border, many Belgian and Flemish influences still remain.
The residents of this city are some of the happiest in France and, why not? Though Lille has as much beauty and charm as its neighbouring cities, it’s a lot more relaxed and residents take the time out to enjoy simple things such as indulging in delicious pastries from Aux Merveilleux de Fred or sampling the fresh produce at the Wazemmes market.
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South Africans who wish to visit Lille need to apply for a Schengen visa. You will need to apply at the French Embassy for your Schengen visa.
Passports may not be older than 10 years, must have 2 blank pages and be valid for at least 3 months beyond your date of departure from the Schengen state.
For more information, contact the Embassy of France:
250 Melk Street,
Tel: 012 425 1600
Fax: 012 425 1609
The residents in Lille boast proudly about their friendliness and willingness to help visitors to their city. However, with the many students in the area, you might encounter some rowdy behaviour after dark. Also, there have been reports of pickpockets so it would be a good idea to travel with only your essential money for the day and to keep your belongings out of sight.
It is always important to have your vaccines up-to-date when you are travelling. When visiting Lille, it is recommended to get a vaccination for hepatitis A if you think you’ll be eating any exotic food. It is also a good idea to get a shot for hepatitis B, as well as Rabies if you plan to spend some time doing adventurous activities or interacting with animals